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June 11, 2013

Apple Demonstrates New iOS Integration in Vehicles; Anki Releases AI App

illustrated image of apple inc logoBy 2014, more than a dozen major vehicle manufacturers will integrate features from Apple’s iOS into their cars.

Apple vice-president Eddy Cue made the announcement in a speech at the company’s WWDC 2013 Conference Monday, telling the audience that Apple is looking to take iOS integration “to a whole new level.”

Currently, he said, 95 percent of vehicles on the market have some iOS integration — like the ability to plug in an iOS device, like an iPod, and select music on the vehicle’s LCD screen.

However, within the next year, 12 companies, including Honda, Nissan and Kia, will boast hands-free and now eyes-free technology through Apple.

With Apple’s upgrades, users will have access to more options on the LCD screen, he said, like maps, music, phone and messaging.

“What if you could get iOS on the screen that is built into your car, so you could make phone calls, play music, go to maps, get your iMessages right on the screen in your car, or eyes-free using Siri,” he said in a video posted by CNet news.  

Cue demonstrated the iOS’s “eyes-free” feature, asking the system to perform simple tasks like play a song and make a phone call. It will also be capable of reading messages through Siri and sending messages dictated verbally to the system by the user.

In related news, artificial intelligence and robotics company Anki took the stage to unveil a new AI application currently available in Beta form to Apple users.

The AI-based slot car game Anki Drive allows users to race vehicles via Bluetooth on their iOS devices.  Players control acceleration and breaking, as well as a “weapons mode” while they race against AI cars, according to CNet.

In a video on the San Francisco company’s website, Anki developers said they have barely “scratched the surface” of integrating AI into vehicles.

“At first glance, it’s a racing game that pits real cars against players and each other — but after playing for a few minutes, you’ll see what makes Anki Drive special: We are making the first video games in the real world, and our team has worked tirelessly on the robotics and AI challenges that this presents,” said Anki CEO and co-founder Boris Sofman.

“When we look at Anki Drive, we see the first steps of the future of robotics and artificial intelligence being realized. We see an entertainment experience transformed today, and we see countless possibilities in the future.”

The full version of Anki Drive will be available in the fall.